What ski for my 9 year old??

rockdogrockdog Posts: 503 Solid Baller
My daughter is coming along really well on her beginner ski, a HO combo thing. She's about 4'9" currently and doesn't weigh a whole lot, tall and skinny.

I want to get her a decent ski to help with her progress, what should I be looking at??


  • allycatallycat Posts: 180 Baller
    my boy loves his radar tra 63 inch ski with vector boots reckon that would help her progress

  • InthedayIntheday Posts: 126 Baller
    Radar lyric if she doesn’t like the graphics on the TRA.
  • Bruce_ButterfieldBruce_Butterfield Posts: 1,330 Mega Baller
    I would get a radar or D3 in the 63-64” range. Size (surface area) and stability are more important than carving.
    She looks pretty solid too. I would definitely recommend ditching the mini course and slowing the boat way down and doing the full course. With the bigger ski she will be ok as slow as 15mph. Bump the speed up each pass, but start slow enough that she will run at least 4 passes. Kids can go a loooong time and you want to start out with repetition of good habits. The mini course doesn’t help that.
    If it was easy, they would call it wakeboarding.
  • east tx skiereast tx skier Posts: 595 Solid Baller
    I picked up an older HO System 8 (63.5") for my son. He started using it at about that age and still is on it at age 12. Worked well for him.
    Perpetual Longline Baller. Tyler Ski Club, Tyler, Texas.
    My real name is in my profile.

  • Bruce_ButterfieldBruce_Butterfield Posts: 1,330 Mega Baller
    edited February 2018
    While you are at it, you should also get her a trick ski. She’s the perfect age and ability point to start.

    More good stuff here

    Kids skis and more
    If it was easy, they would call it wakeboarding.
  • SivotaSivota Posts: 108 Baller
    My daughter learnt on an HO Revolt, which was great. I suspect the HO Girls Omni is a great development. Whatever she rides, I hope she enjoys it.
  • brooksbrooks Posts: 179 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    @rockdog I've skied that spot!! Love it there in Bundalong, get her a 63" Radar TRA, she'll love it!
  • escmanazeescmanaze Posts: 573 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @Bruce_Butterfield Can you explain why you would want her to slow down and do the full course instead of speeding up in the mini course? Why do you say the mini course doesn't help with the repetition of good habits?
  • WaterSkier12WaterSkier12 Posts: 217 Baller
    62 inch D3 RCX
  • Bruce_ButterfieldBruce_Butterfield Posts: 1,330 Mega Baller
    edited February 2018
    @escmanaze, re the minicourse, think about the most important concepts and habits you want to instill at the start:

    1. Get WIDE on the boat
    2. Learn to edge the ski to get speed
    3. Create “space” in front of the buoy so you can backside each turn

    Its really hard to teach/learn these concepts when the skier is barely getting outside the wakes, is fighting a high boat speed (harder to lean and edge) and turning way downcourse from the buoy. Contrast that with slow speed on the full course and you have to edge to get speed to get wide, the skier will have huge amounts of time to make mistakes and recover and can easily backside each buoy.

    Making the transition from the minicourse to the full course can be difficult, especially when psychologically its difficult to get them to slow down, and they have to unlearn what worked on the minicourse. IMO, 99% of beginning skiers are better off learning the full course, at slow speed, on the right size ski(s), than using the minicourse.

    Here’s a video of my daughter running the full course on 2 skis, I think around 10mph. Yes its an extreme example, but compare that to rockdog’s video and its easy to see which method instills the better slalom fundamentals.

    Slow slalom

    In @Rockdog’s video, it looks like the boat is in the low 20’s (mph) and I’m guessing the ski is about 58”. Trying to go slow on that size ski would be difficult since she would sink at the buoy and struggle to generate speed. That’s why the proper size ski (64” range) is important.

    @waterskier12, the 62” RCX is an awesome ski and I think would be perfect once she gets up to the 30mph range. I’m afraid it would be on the small side for her at the slower speeds and she would be better on a slightly larger ski for now. I suspect she would be ready for the RCX in a year or 2.
    If it was easy, they would call it wakeboarding.
  • WaterSkier12WaterSkier12 Posts: 217 Baller
    Listen to Bruce, can’t disagree- his kids rock!
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,657 Mega Baller
    edited February 2018
    Do what Bruce says his advice is spot on and he has developed a couple of very good skiers from a young age.
    Mark Shaffer
  • escmanazeescmanaze Posts: 573 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @Bruce_Butterfield Thanks for the explanation. I like it. There seems to be a lot of sense and logic found in there.

    So, quick sidetrack then. Do you think the same principles would apply to my dad at 72? He's about 180-200 pounds on a 69" P6, so I'm not really sure that it would be at all possible to get him down to a speed where he could actually run the course. Seems like he wouldn't be able to run it until about 18 mph and by then, that ski may be skinking on him? Maybe worth a try though?

    I've always really wanted to get him into a mini course in order to get it to where he could actually get more than one ball. However, it sounds like you are telling me that may not be the best path. Maybe a 71" butterknife would be his best bet for slowing down and getting more balls instead of finding a juniors course?

  • escmanazeescmanaze Posts: 573 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Also, I think I can see what you are saying when I look at this video of my kid. If he were on a junior course, he would barely get outside the wake, and boom, there's the ball, time to turn back around. Forcing him to go out further forces him to learn what it takes to get out further, which is also somewhat learning what it takes to get across faster.

  • Bruce_ButterfieldBruce_Butterfield Posts: 1,330 Mega Baller
    @escmanaze, yes, 2 points

    First for your son, it looks waaay too fast. Looks like the shaped skis, which are great, try 12mph if you are working on buoys. If free skiing, go ahead and use 14-15, but have him pull up as far as he can on each side of the boat, then cut as hard and as fast as he can to the other side.

    Your dad is another conundrum. I’ve coached several seasoned citizens at that ability level, and they tend to be really stubborn about slowing down, even though that’s what they really need to do. That looks like about 32mph, and at his weight and ski size, 26-28mph is about as slow as you can reasonably go. There is a huge difference between 50 lbs and 200, but slowing down just a little can make a big difference. I don’t think a bigger ski would hurt and may make it easier. If you are serious about a bigger ski, I would give Eddie Roberts at Radar a call and get his thoughts.

    Great to see the old folks still at it!
    If it was easy, they would call it wakeboarding.
  • rockdogrockdog Posts: 503 Solid Baller
    Thanks @Bruce_Butterfield sounds good. Spot on she’s skiing at around 23mph on a 59”. Terrible ski really. Testing her interest was the first aim of the game, she’s been in the boat with us for a long time watching so I think she wanted to run some buoys first. Since it appears her interest will hang around I figure I’ll spend up and likely get a Radar TRA and try and get her to run the full course now.

    @brooks yes Bundalong has curved setups both ends but is a great spot. Thanks for the advice..
  • escmanazeescmanaze Posts: 573 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Right on @Bruce_Butterfield. The kid is actually on some HO Blast 59", so they aren't shaped, but they still provide his 50 pounds with plenty of float even if I slow down from what is shown (I think I was right around 14 or 15.)

    And yes you are right on with my dad as well, I try to get him to slow down but he doesn't like it as much. The video was at 27.2, which is where he says the ski feels the best, so it's tough to argue with him on that, and from what you're saying, that's about as slow as that weight and ski combination should hit anyway - hence the 71" butterknife thought, but I doubt I'll get him to go for that either. Oh well. He still has fun, that's what matters most.
  • bojansbojans Posts: 193 Baller
    My son just turned 10, learned on the Radar TRA 63", great, stable ski, very forgiving and predictable. At the end of last year he was getting into 26.7mph regularly and ran it a few times. I think that ski has a lot to do with his progress. This year he is moving up to a 63.5" Lithium Vapor.
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,657 Mega Baller
    At 8 I put my son on a 63'HO Wide Ride ski after coming off an HO Blast combo ski (on 1 ski). When I put him on the WR ski he was running the course at 23 mph having started out at about 19 on the Blast. My son stayed on the WR until he was running the course at 30 mph 15 off (I started him at long line) when I moved him to a 65" D3 X5. When the kids are starting out the big challenge at slow speeds isn't the turn but learning to hold position across the wakes and while at slow speeds the wakes are a little bigger they are also way more forgiving. Don't rush to a skinny high performance ski. The 63" Wide Ride was a great ski for my son.

    I do have a 65" HO Siren which is the older triumph shape in my basement that would be great for kids if anyone is interested in it let me know. I would let it go for about pretty short money.
    Mark Shaffer
  • WBLskierWBLskier Posts: 431 Baller
    +1 for a 63" Radar TRA or Lyric. I have 11 and 8 year old daughters. I got a 63" lyric several years ago and it worked wonders. It is super stable but still fast. One was running 30mph/15 a couple years ago on it while the other was working on 15mph long line and it worked great for both of them. At the time I bought it I was told the mold was the same for the lyric and the TRA. Not sure if that's true now or not. Once she gets past about 15off/30mph then you probably want her on something smaller and narrower as the wide ski is a little harder to turn over quickly and can lead to her skiing a flat after the second wake. I think the stability really outweighs any negatives though at the slower speeds. I'm for sure not an expert but there's a lot to be said for getting them success often vs. crashing all the time on a narrower more nimble ski. Message me if you have any specific questions.
  • MarkSAUMarkSAU Posts: 21 Baller
    My one daughter has a 65 Lyric, one has a 63 TRA, both great skis for girls to learn and they have progressed really well. Older one ski's the course on the Lyric and might get a new ski for her birthday ( don't tell her..) so might ask here for advice when the time comes.
    Both really stable and have room for them to progress from beginner.
    Melbourne Australia

    "You have not fallen off until you let go the rope"
  • rockdogrockdog Posts: 503 Solid Baller
    Thank you @Sethski for the offer, very kind of you. I have a GT myself which is working beautifully for me and would have been great to get one for my daughter however I picked up a TRA on the weekend we’re going to try and see how it goes.
  • SethskiSethski Posts: 131 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    @rockdog Good luck with it and let me know if you ever need anything!
    Seth Stisher
    SethStisher.com for water ski training and all of your gear needs!

    "Follow your passion by pursuing your goals within that passion at all costs!"
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